Wines You Should be Buying Today

Reds from Italy


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Sicily

Sicily has burst onto the wine scene over the past few years and it’s no surprise when you consider that Sicily produces more wine than Australia. Yes, that is correct, though lots of it is consumed in situ. In years past, Sicily was most famous for their bulk wine production and Marsala. While it’s easy to dismiss much of those older style wines, they have proved most valuable. While being misappropriated for the production of bulk wine was a shame, it did preserve acres and acres of old vine vineyards, and prevented their wholesale replacement with the so-called international varieties! Nero d’Avola, with its plum black cherry fruit, has been at the vanguard of the Sicilian renaissance here in the U.S., but it’s worth exploring further afield.

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Comments

  • Snooth User: wriskit
    160011 77

    A good report, but I would like to see some specific recommendations to buy and savor if I can find them in the neighborhood. The bottle pictures offer some help but the res is too low to read in many cases. I'm going to search my favorite NYC stores now to see what I can find.

    Nov 04, 2010 at 2:08 PM


  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 152

    Rosso is a cheap wine designation.... for example, Rosso de Montalcino are simply red wines from the area around the small medieval town of Montalcino.... inferior to the Brunello de Montalcino. There are Rosso designations all over Italy, simply means wine of that town or area. They are generally thin, low alcohol and their primary defining characteristic is being acidic with almost no varietal characteristics.... but then I like California wines best. The label of a wine in Italy has very little to do with its quality. Brunellos, Barolas, etc. can be mediocre or pretty good.

    Dec 07, 2010 at 3:47 PM


  • I have had a number of Rosso del Montalcinos, both in Italy and the US, that may not have been the equal of Brunellos, but were very, very nice in their own right. Don't paint all Rossos with the same brush.

    Dec 07, 2010 at 4:29 PM


  • Snooth User: heubel
    664123 2

    A wine tasting from Australia is not complete without a red from the Coonawarra region. They are the most consistent, wonderful and popular reds in Australia, well certainly in Sydney. The other wines in the tasting look pretty good too but an introduction should include Coonawarra.

    Dec 07, 2010 at 4:38 PM


  • Snooth User: steve666
    392767 152

    Re # 6 above. Agree, there are bad wines at all classifications and price points in all areas of the world, and there are good Rossos. But I think inexperienced wine drinkers think that a wine marked a DOC or DOCG, or called by a name, is somehow better.... lots of crummy Napa Cabs or Zins. The labels that just crack me up are the typico greografia (spelling) or vin de pays -- all they mean is typical of the area, absolutely without any requirements of blending, aging, varietals, etc.... but Americans think anything in a foreign language must be special. There are vast oceans of lousy wine, and not all of it is under $10 a bottle... there are oceans of mid-priced CA cabs, say $25 - $40 a bottle, that re pathetic. The point is to drink a lot of wine for years, then you will either know what you like or die of cirrhosis of the liver.

    Dec 07, 2010 at 5:56 PM


  • Snooth User: McMon30
    636558 12

    I agree with Heubel that Coonawarra is our most consistent and in the mid to higher range has the best reds. Margaret River comes second followed by Eden valley, Barossa then it is a toss up. I think Hunter River and Tasmania are not doing so well. Some wines from Central Victoria are up with the best especially if they have some age.
    The wines that have improved are the Pinot varietals and this changes the selection a lot. Central Victoria is now in the leading bunch with Coonawarra, Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsular.
    It is well worth a visit to Tasmania for Pinot as it is to cross the Tasman to NZ as when you get to Cromwell and the Gibson Valley you find some stunning Pinots if you like the more fruity varieties. They do have some that are more traditional in the Burgundy style that are my favourites and they are in that same area. NZ is improving with their heavier reds but you have to look more up in the North Island and on the east Coast.
    Like so many reds produced in earlier years many take a long time to mature and most do not have the time for that.

    Dec 07, 2010 at 7:02 PM


  • Snooth User: Hikerinnc
    288358 1

    Just experienced a Frappato for the first time a couple of weeks ago. What a refreshing and surprisingly exciting wine. Thanks for including it in this list

    Dec 07, 2010 at 7:02 PM


  • Snooth User: McMon30
    636558 12

    I would be very interested in some name dropping on the wines most appreciated by the readers as well as your good self. I was told that Barolo does not have a bad wine and have tried hard to find if that is true. So far it is.

    Dec 07, 2010 at 7:05 PM


  • Rossos and Vins de Pays and Vino de Tavola can be used by great winemakers to skirt needlessly restrictive definitions of what can be included in an appellation, and have been done so for at least three decades now.
    The offence may be to include a fraction of cabernet sauvignon, or fraction of grapes from the other side of a boundary fence, or the winemaker may be an oddball at war with his local consorzio. Or it may be that the wine is just too good to be a, say, Soave Classico Superiore, and the maker seeks to differentiate his product by deliberately violating the rules.

    On bad Barolo, I would say beware of the cheaper ones and SpA or big company names, the best names are personal, eg Mascarello e Figlie, or Ascheri Giacomo, etc.

    Dec 08, 2010 at 5:05 AM


  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    ...........noo not ruffino please...not cecchi,banfi,bottega vinai...please do not take these lables as Example Please!!!.....OKOK Morgante the Best Nero d'Avola Vineyards in the Whole Sicily...OK Muri Gries the Best Lagrein Vineyards In Whole SuedTyrol...Check out for Tenuta di Fessina if you whant to drink a special Nerello Mascalese.....

    Dec 08, 2010 at 2:58 PM


  • Tiefenbrunner Lagrein Dunkel was in and out of our house rather fast, a very moorish and unusual red wine indeed. I have always found the Alto Adige, sometimes called Sudtiroler region wines reliable, aromatic and well made.

    Dec 09, 2010 at 4:35 AM


  • Snooth User: cippa
    199041 12

    ROSSO is an indication of the color. Rosso di Montalcino is the second kind of grapes and produce wine without aging in wood. Today 2010, you can found Rosso Montalcino 2009,and sure not Brunello. The legal definition of a Rosso di Montalcino is IGT (Typical Geographic Indication)
    You can also find o lot of wines with name ' ROSSO' like Rosso Conero, Rosso dell'Etna the name dont mean a lower quality, generally they are young wines.
    The quality ladder of italian wines is (from the lowest one)
    - Vino da tavola (without indication of coming from grapes)
    -IGT
    - DOC ( the same of AOC of France)
    - DOCG ( with more rules)
    - VSQPRD ( only for sparkling wines)
    This is not all , but enogh...


    Dec 10, 2010 at 2:04 PM


  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 198,700

    Thanks for all the comments folks.

    As you probably know I love Italian wine, number one in my book.

    I literally could spend a lifetime exploring the wines of Italy, not a bad idea but who would pay for such a thing? I'm just trying to broaden people's horizons here.

    And if I recall correctly, and I don't have the diciplinaria for Montalcino handy, but the main difference that sets Brunello apart from Rosso di Montalcino is an additional period of ageing in wood.

    Of course most producers also do some sever selection when choosing fruit for Brunello but the idea that rossos are simply lesser wines is not only myopic, but also annoying.

    The rosso moniker should be most identified with wines that are meant to be consumed earlier in their lives. They may not be the same as Brunellos, for example, but that is not the point.

    The point is to improve one's Brunello, in this case, by selecting out parcels of wine that can not stand up to the ageing, either in wood or in bottle, and package and market them for earlier consumption, at a greatly reduced price, while they are in their glory.

    to each his or her own. Some people have to drink important wines to be satisfied, others may be more flexible. I count myself in that second group.

    Dec 14, 2010 at 10:04 AM


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